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The Michel Delving Mathom House  by Periantari

He was leaving. He had talked of it for a while now, but she had never thought that he was serious. When Ma had died, her father would do nothing but sit alone and stare out the window, starring out into the distance, seemingly to try to remember only of the times that had passed. Elanor had also felt the pain of losing her dear mother, but her support came from her husband, Fastred, not to mention all her siblings and her dear children.

Everyone tried to tell Da to get out into the outdoors as he had done before and to do things that Ma would encourage him to do "Linger in the memories you had with her, so that you can derive the strength to live on," Elanor would say constantly to her father. Elanor would try to spend as much time possible with Da, comforting in the ways that she could... but to no avail.

When Da quietly announced to his children his fate that he was leaving Middle-earth forever, Elanor could not believe it though she knew that it was his fate. Da told her, right before she married Fastred, about the fact that he too was once a Ring-bearer, so therefore also had the choice of passage into the West if he did not wish to remain in Middle-Earth any longer. Before he left that sorrowful day on the twenty-second day Halimath in 1482, Da had given her the Red Book for safe-keeping before he left, to keep it so that future generations could remember the times of danger and uncertainty, of the times that he himself had been part of the danger in which he had strove to save from evil.

Elanor remembered that time when she was seven years old, where Da had told her about those times during the War of the Ring. How she remembered the wistfulness that his eyes spelled out when Mr. Frodo was mentioned. Yet she did not know at that time, what the significance of Da being a Ring-bearer could mean. Did all Ring-bearers have to part from Middle-earth? Could it be that it was because one had possessed the Ring of Power for a time that they had to pass into the West no matter what?

She was full of questions of why. Elanor had wondered why and how this could be. Her father's circumstances were different than Mr. Frodo Baggins though. He had thirteen children to still spend time with, not to mention future grandchildren that would surely adore his company. His legacy of being Mayor and his respectable reputation should not have caused him to want to depart from Middle-earth. He should have continued to enjoy the beautiful, serene Shire, that he, himself had been so much a part of. She still did not fully comprehend why Da would part from all that was familiar, all that was home for all his life.

Elanor remembered the last sight of her father riding out west towards the Grey Havens. Da had held her tightly, told her to continue to be the sweet daughter he knew, to take care, and that he loved her dearly. With a heavy heart and eyes full of tears, she had felt despair and nostalgia ever since that tearful parting. Da’s words still replayed over and over in her head, 

“Do not think this to be grievous parting, my dear Elanorelle. Think and be happy for me that I will see Mr. Frodo again. Long have I dreamed and thought about this road, this fate, the fact I will be seeing my dear Master again. Do not begrudge me of the gift that I still have to use. Please understand that I too, was a Ring-bearer, dear Elanorelle. I will dearly, truly miss you with all my heart, but you have Fastred and the children and all your siblings that you must continue to care for, for me. “

And at that moment, she saw that her Da’s eyes had filled with tears, very much only like the third time in his life that he had seen such tears falling from his hazel eyes—“I will miss you, dear Elanorelle, truly I will. I love you.

Elanor could do nothing but hold onto her Da even tighter yet she knew she could not hinder upon a decision that had been made so long ago.

“I love you too, Da—so so much,” Elanor snuggled closer to her Da, taking in his scent of pipeweed, enjoying his warmth, remembering the green jacket, navy breeches, trying to take in the last sight of her father as best as she could the last moments before he rode out.

“Like Mr. Frodo had told me in the past, your part in the tale will go on and it is you, I give the Red Book which Frodo had given to me before he left. Please let future generations remember the War of the Ring, what Frodo, Merry, and Pippin did for the Shire and for all of Middle-earth. Remember, and then you will remember me.”

And at that, Da left her the Red Book in her hands, gently released her and rode out from the Tower Hills, never to be seen by Elanor or anyone from Middle-earth again. Elanor thought of following by him, seeing him off in the Grey Havnes but was so stricken by grief that she had no energy to ride after her father.

She had never imagined that she would share the same fate as Queen Arwen had with the parting she had with her own father. Ma's death had caused her enough grief, but now Da had left Middle-Earth. Though saddened to lose both parents the same year, Elanor knew she could not be selfish and allow her father to go the path that he had been fated to go. 

She felt very alone that night outside looking out at the stars. She remembered all the lessons that her father had taught her, all the stories he told of the foreign lands beyond the Shire. King Elessar and Queen Arwen of Gondor held her in great honor, writing to her often, for she was a maid of Queen Arwen’s court and reported to them quite seldom the doings of the Shire. The land in which she lived was a gift from King Elessar to Samwise during the time more than forty years ago. She felt great pride and was very appreciative that she was daughter of Samwise Gamgee, renowned hobbit of the greater world beyond the Shire.

But still... this did not alleviate her sorrow at the departure of the two people that meant so much in her life. 

At that particular time, when she thought that she was all alone outside, a gentle hand was placed on her shoulder and she was held close. Fastred did not say anything at once, but he knew what was bothering his wife ever since her father had left her with the Red Book.

Slowly and after much thought, he said, "I remember you telling me once that Sam had a bond with his master like no other two people can have that can compare on how special it was... would you have him to always feel torn in two if he remained here in Middle-Earth? Your Da told me to take special care of you, your brothers and sisters and of course the young ones that we have. Do not despair, dearest Elanor... I'll look after you... just like how Sam is going to go and look over Frodo until the end of his days..."

Elanor did nothing but place her head at Fastred’s shoulder, tears glistening upon her cheek and replied, “Da’s amazing—I hope everyone in the Shire and beyond knows that. He deserves all the happiness of the world that the Shire couldn’t give him anymore, but still, I miss him so very much.”

“Of course. We all miss him. He has left a legacy and all with Gamgee blood will follow in suit and continue to be influential and renowned, dearest,” Fastred replied softly, placing a gentle kiss upon Elanor’s golden hair.

“I hope they’re having a wonderful reunion, Da and Mr. Frodo—isn’t Mr. Frodo lucky to be reunited with his dearest friend? Though I want Da to be by my side too, I would understand how dear Mr. Frodo is to him and that their reunion in Valinor would mean so much. I’m just selfish… I thought that I could have both Da and Ma forever but that is just not meant to be.”

“And you’re much needed here, too, Elanor. Bella and Tom—still young, innocent, and full of spirit, clamoring for their Ma’s attention.”

Elanor smiled at the mention of their two young children who, indeed, demanded a lot of attention and care. She loved them very dearly and had to admit that Tom had acquired some of his grandfather’s looks, making him think of Da a lot but in a glad sort of way. “I love our children so dearly. But not to mention, you in demanding my attention! What would I do without you, dear?”

“I wouldn’t want to imagine that, dearest Elanor. For indeed, I acquired the fairest hobbit in the Shire and wouldn’t want it any way else,” Fastred held his lovely wife close. Even at fifty-nine, Elanor did not age as much as other lady hobbits did and looked very elegant and fair in her white summer dress. Her golden curls were laid upon her shoulder and her eyes were bright with tears. 

“You’re too sweet with words, sometimes, I just do not know how to reply,” smiled Elanor back while she gazed deeply and lovingly into Fastred’s hazel eyes.

“Sam will be healed in Valinor and if it is his fate to part from Middle-earth even from the beginning, then we must not hinder fate and not linger long in sadness. For Da went to where he could achieve happiness again and would not want us to continually grieve, now would he?”

“I suppose not, but I wish to know that he is well and… and… I just feel Mr. Frodo to be lucky to have his dearest companion meet him in the Blessed Lands again while I had to deal with two losses in the same year. It’s hard, Fastred…”

“I know, dear. But I will be there for you, always and forever, Elanor. He left content knowing you are taken care of and wise and strong enough to deal with all the happenings of the Shire and beyond. While Da goes to heal, you will too, with the knowledge that he is where his heart is happiest.” 

With that thought, together, Fastred and Elanor, holding hands, turned towards the West and while the Sun quickly descended, going into the West and bringing about the coming of the night, many stars sparkled, seemingly to indicate with agreement, that it was hopeful that all would heal from their losses eventually. 


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